Comment: Dr. Michael Fox a physical chemist and nuclear engineer, has es

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Dr. Michael Fox a physical chemist and nuclear engineer, has es

timated that there are about 80 tons each of cesium-137 and strontium-90 that could be separated out for use in medical applications, such as targeted radioisotope therapies, or sterilization of equipment. Using isotope separation techniques, and fast-neutron bombardment for transmutation (technologies that the United States has refused to develop), we could separate out other valuable radioisotopes, like americium, which is widely used in smoke detectors, or plutonium- 238, which is used to power heart pacemakers, as well as small reactors in space. Krypton-85, tritium, and promethium- 147 are used in self-powered lights in remote applications; strontium-90 is used to provide electric power for remote weather stations, and in remote surveillance stations, navigational aids, and defense communications systems. We know how to reprocess used nuclear fuel, and can do it safely, as this country did for years. We also know that there are new technologies to be developed that can eliminate the long-lived radioisotopes in the 4% of used nuclear fuel that cannot be recycled. New technologies could retrieve many of these isotopes for use in medicine and industry.We can develop fusion power, with high enough temperatures (millions of degrees) to reduce nuclear spent fuel and other matter—including garbage or rock—down to its constituent elements. The fusion torch was an idea patented in the 1960s, but its development was stopped by the same anti-nuclear forces noted above. Plasma torches, with lower than fusion temperatures, are used today in industry in several applications— steel making, for example.